By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –
After the recent shootings in USA some part of the US media is trying to connect this with Pakistan somehow. There is no doubt that it is in bed with the warmonger arms dealers and Islamophobs, and why not as it is in their best interest. But the saddest thing is a certain section of Pakistani media with close links to Iran trying to snow ball this rumour mill based on lies and deception. This is not a time to settle sectarian scores but these people have always been useful idiots from main source of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq to claim the existence of criminals of ‘Daesh’ in Pakistan. These elements in Pakistan have become a national security threat as they are playing in Indian and US hands. Pakistan don’t have a space left for ignoring them. For them if a Pakistani reportedly go join Hizbullah in Syria that is no news but if a victim of US drones go join Afghan Taliban that is a headline?
Some anchors in Pakistani media have no sense of responsibility and failed to differentiate between government interests and state interests and mostly score their own goals. That gives the fuel to the anti-Pakistan international media abroad and in neighbouring countries. I am not sure if any one of them have ever called the news editors of the BBC, CNN, and FOX News to confirm the sources of their stories? It is them who snow ball the enemy propaganda?
Pakistani media need media education and understanding of psychological warfare before they given information. Obviously this cannot happen overnight but one has to start from somewhere. I was talking to someone about investing in media education. He said. ‘We don’t have any money’. I told him that your leaders can have a ‘semi naked dance party’ and spend millions in one night but they are not willing to spend any state money on media education of their young journalists’. I said: ‘that is a real treachery as you are deliberately leaving a front open for your enemies where tanks and planes won’t go but become useless in front of enemy propaganda’. It is all about priorities in life of a nation and its leaders.
In the context of 7 July 2005 London bombings I wrote an article titled: “Do Not Blame the British Muslims for Terrorism” published on 13th January 2006 in The Arab news.
Read More: http://www.arabnews.com/node/278816
This article is also published by the 7/7 Truth Campaign on their website. Up to now not a single Pakistani journalist or channel contacted me to talk about this article. I am at loss to understand this attitude? While Indian channels were too quick to interview me about the Air Blue crash in Islamabad Pakistan.
It was long time ago during the military training we were taught about propaganda both white and black. I suppose it is still the case i.e. it is ‘black and white’. Pakistan first realise the importance of electronic and print media after the ‘Kargil War’ with India in disputed Kashmir. It was General Pervez Musharraf who allowed in private TV channels and almost ended the monopoly of state owned PTV. There were no trained media workers and journalists available in the market so a large chunk from print media jumped into the electronic media including wedding video camera men and stage entertainers. They had no idea about the content so they started broadcasting copyright material from abroad without permission and just ‘filling in’ with the daily events with he said, she said, this happened and that happened.
However when we look at the talk shows they are again based on daily events and current affairs both guests and anchors/presenters shout at each other to humiliate each other. All this has created a noisy atmosphere where everyone is shouting and no one is listening. It seems viewers have also developed a tendency to high pitch debates, shouting and screaming. Almost all the political parties have men and women with high pitched tones and they shout at each other to entertain the public.
Those channels who are doing some crime related investigating programs they only keep it to the low level criminal activities as it keeps the beneficiary elite happy and public busy. However the real gangsters and criminals of Pakistan sitting in expansive villas in posh areas continue enjoying their lives. They all get together over a drink from police to judiciary in the evenings and run various mafias from land, egg, chicken, sugar, drugs, transport and so forth. Pakistani media rarely talk about them as it is itself run by the same mafias.
So Pakistani media is left with soft options like religion mainly Sunni clerics for jihad bashing and Pakistan Armed Forces for depriving them with the fruits of ‘democracy’ and also some dead people to kick and bash as all the above cannot defend themselves. Military bashing is favourite subject of the foreign funded ‘candle mafia’ as for them army is responsible every evil in Pakistan starting malaria, unclean water, overflowing sewerages, dirty hospitals, corruption in police, land mafias. Some of them are on foreign payrolls for generations but media don’t talk about them as they are the media in some cases. The level of state accountability is only up to grade 16 anyone above go beyond the power of the state apparatus as they are now in another world and have joined in the syndicate mafias.
When I did an exclusive story about the EU and executions of murders in Pakistan only one TV channel SAMA run the story for few minutes and then there was silence?
The reason being over 8000 convicted murderers were waiting to be executed by criminal politicians like Asif Zardari, Altaf Hussain and Nawaz Sharif were standing like a rock in defence of convicted criminals and sabotaging the National Action Plan 2015. It was these people who are responsible for the murders of people in Pakistan. If those people have been executed many people could be saved from murders.
Sadly people feel very happy when low level police official is caught in corruption of humiliated by a corrupt politician on live TV programs. It is because they are the one who humiliate them in the police stations, government offices, and on the roads. It is them who are pleasing their masters. All the above events cover the 24 hours slot of a Pakistani TV channel.
Media and psychological wars are not fought with tanks and planes but with experts in psychological wars and media streaming. And to win these wars you have to be in it to win it. As for Pakistan you are not in it.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He is a PhD and also studied Law at a British University)